The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) was asked to provide guidance to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on cooking protocols for seafood so that these agencies can develop consumer messages to ensure safe consumption of seafood. All pathogens (bacterial, viral and parasitic) and their heat-labile toxins were to be assessed in the context of methods consumers use to cook seafood. Among questions posed to the seafood subcommittee were: (1) What pathogens and parasites are of concern in seafood purchased by consumers? (2) Do cooking methods differ in their ability to eliminate the identified organism? (3) Do the cooking requirements differ by type of seafood? (4) Is there a single temperature that will ensure safe seafood? Conclusions and recommendations were published in 2008, and the NACMCF report exposed the lack of scientific data in the published literature. Examples of the conclusions were: (1) the fragile nature of fish tissue results in a delicate balance between proper cooking (to inactivate pathogens) and overcooking for optimal eating quality; (2) there is lack of thermal inactivation data for relevant pathogens in appropriate seafood; and (3) some of the currently used cooking processes may not provide adequate public health protection. This panel will focus on what is being discovered in the world of seafood safety. Two microbiologists working on finfish, shellfish and bivalves will share results of their challenge studies and modeling of inactivation kinetics. A third panel member will present issues in validating cooking instructions for consumers. As a panel, all three will discuss further research that is necessary to bring scientific understanding to consumer safety in preparing seafood.